Sweeper ar­rested for ‘mo­lest­ing’ Class I stu­dent of Kalyan school

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES CITY - Pradeep Gupta

Kalyan: A 47-year-old sweeper has been ar­rested for al­legedly mo­lest­ing a six-yearold girl stu­dent inside a boys’ toi­let in an English medium school at Kalyan on Tues­day. Be­fore the child’s par­ents ap­proached the po­lice, the school con­ducted an in­ter­nal in­quiry and sacked the ac­cused as well as the woman staffer posted at the girls’ toi­let for not be­ing present at the spot when the crime was com­mit­ted.

The Class I stu­dent had en­tered the boy’s toi­let next to the one for girls by mis­take to wash her hands when the ac­cused, who was clean­ing the cubicles, al­legedly molested her. She had en­tered the toi­let to wash her hands af­ter the lunch break.

The ar­rested ac­cused has been iden­ti­fied as Pradeep Ma­ha­jan, who is a res­i­dent of Kalyan’s Khade­go­li­vali area.

Khadak­pada po­lice said Ma­ha­jan war- ned the child against telling any­one of the in­ci­dent. She did as told that day but the next day, on Wed­nes­day, she gath­ered courage and in­formed her mother of what had hap­pened. Her par­ents im­me­di­ately ap­proached the school prin­ci­pal and de­manded ac­tion against Ma­ha­jan. As the par­ents had reached the school late in the evening, the prin­ci­pal re­quested them to re­turn on Thurs­day morn­ing so that the school could con­duct an in­ter­nal probe. The school fired Ma­ha­jan and the woman staffer on Thurs­day. Later that evening, the fam­ily ap­proached Khadak­pada po­lice who ar­rested Ma­ha­jan late at night from his res­i­dence.

He has been booked un­der In­dian Pe­nal Code Sec­tion 354 for mo­lesta­tion and Pro­tec­tion of Chil­dren from Sex­ual Of­fences Act’s Sec­tion 12 for sex­ual ha­rass­ment. Balasa­heb Kadam, se­nior po­lice in­spec­tor of Khadak­pada po­lice sta­tion, said, “Im­me­di­ately af­ter the com­plainant ap­proached us, we sent across a team and ar­rested the ac­cused. Fur­ther probe is on in the case.”

The school prin­ci­pal told TOI: “Ser­vices of the house­keep­ing staff are out­sourced. Ma­ha­jan, who was em­ployed by that com­pany, was given the charge of keep­ing a watch on boys’ toi­let and clean­ing work. Af­ter par­ents ap­proached us, we con­ducted an in­quiry and im­me­di­ately sacked Ma­ha­jan and a woman staffer posted at the girls’ toi­let as she was not present at the time of the in­ci­dent.”

The mo­lesta­tion in­ci­dent cre­ated panic among other par­ents who have de­manded strict ac­tion against the ac­cused. He was pro­duced be­fore the Kalyan ses­sions court on Fri­day and on the grounds of be­ing a tu­ber­cu­lo­sis pa­tient, sent to ju­di­cial cus­tody. Cops said Ma­ha­jan de­nied mo­lest­ing the child. He said he had taken off his shirt while clean­ing the toi­let and that the child got fright­ened on see­ing him and fled.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.